CRC in Court Report

A report on case law of the Convention of the Rights of the Child from around the world

Inside and outside the courtroom, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) can be a uniquely powerful tool for advancing children’s rights. Its monitoring body, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, has for nearly two decades reviewed States Parties’ efforts to implement the Convention, looking at whether national laws, policies and practices fall in line with children’s rights. Following a successful advocacy campaign, this group of experts will also soon preside over a complaints mechanism through which children can bring violations of their rights to international attention.

The new complaints mechanism promises to meaningfully expand children’s access to justice, but legal claims involving children’s rights are already being heard in courts around the world. The CRC has been cited, referenced and mentioned through national, regional and international justice systems worldwide since it came into force.

With this in mind, CRIN launched the “CRC in Court” case law database in 2009. We aim to highlight important decisions from across the globe that cite, quote and discuss the CRC. In doing so, we aim not only to look at the results of individual cases, but to look too at the role children have played in bringing or pursuing cases.

Ultimately, this report and this project explore the potential for advancing children’s rights through legal advocacy. Above all else, we hope that reviewing the case law on the Convention on the Rights of the Child provides inspiration to expand its application in all manner of judicial proceedings. The CRC is very much a living instrument, and national, regional and international courts offer a strong, effective means to ensure that children's rights progress from laudable aspirations to binding obligations.

Download the full report

This report looks at how the CRC has been used in courts around the world, analysing case law researched between 2009 and 2012. Further cases have since been added to the CRC in Court database and are not covered by this report.